Crews wear masks, they follow social distancing guidelines, and sanitize all areas.By Lindsay Ward

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Are you ready for winter? The snow, ice and bitterly cold temperatures? We’re already seeing some of that and it can greatly impact how you travel on the roads.

PennDOT says they start planning for the winter in the summer. Besides the training and preparation, there’s something else they had to factor in this year, the coronavirus pandemic.

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They have many plans in place. Crews wear masks, they follow social distancing guidelines, and sanitize all areas. They are also making sure crew members stick to the same vehicles and equipment to prevent spreading of the virus.

“We did put plexiglass in the sheds. Our operators remain in their vehicles and we have a maximum occupancy in the shed,” Allegheny County Maintenance Manager Lori Musto said.

All together, they have 57,000 tons of salt, 101,000 gallons of brine, and 124 plow trucks for the season. Some trucks are even rented out for other areas. In Allegheny County specifically, there are 17 salt stockpiles.

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PennDOT says their primary focus is on interstates and expressways when the snow starts. Other roadways that are traveled on frequently will get a lot of attention, too.

Keeping roadways passable is their focus, not keeping them free of snow.

“We’re seeing a lot of aggressive driving this time of year because there is less drivers on the road. They think this is a time to speed and tailgate and run red lights and stop signs, that’s not the case,” PennDOT Safety Press Officer Yasmeen Manyisha said.

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District-wide they have 229 positions, but they’re always looking for drivers and the pandemic has not impacted that need.